Today by the Creek I Pretend I’m the Dalai Lama
Today by the creek I pretend I’m the Dalai Lama.
I don’t know enough to get it wrong.
The robes saffron, golden.
The smile, serene. The walk
feline, Persian, with a hint of bobcat.
My breath comes from the belly,
sanctifies plants that sway on the out-breath,
spring seeds released by my presence.
My imagined sandals lined in black
cotton tread lightly. People smile,
they namaste and bow with tears in their eyes.
As Dalai Lama I eat lightly. I forego coffee,
share my morning oatmeal, split my chocolate
enviro-mint with Rose at Chico Natural Foods.
I bestow smile after smile, hands
raised in blessing as the sun blesses
my eyelids, the frog blesses my ears, a twang
on the base fiddle, a strum on the steel guitar.
Small beetles spin as they mate,
tail ends merged in bug ecstasy.
And as Lama, celibate as a leaf, myself,
I smile at them.
One water strider jots back and forth nearby
wondering, no doubt, is it he? Is it really he?
Our neutral, kind, enlightened Dalai Lama?
The Kingfisher asks, and other birds,
I can hear it in their calls–Is it he? Is it he? Is it she?
Is it she? She she she she chi chi chi chi chi…
I bow my head in gratitude
toward the pill bug in my leg’s shadow.
I love it unconditionally.
I love being Dalai Lama.
I can’t wait for night with Dalai Lama dreams.
On my knee one of those firefly-looking beetles
with orange eyes and black wings stretches
in a bug yoga of oblation, antennae a-twirl,
wings open in sun salutation in honor of my presence.
And as Dalai Lama I am one with it.
For today, just today, as Dalai Lama, I declare it.
In spite of everything, villages in flames
murders, walls and wars,
I declare it, I declare it. I am Dalai Lama, today,
here by the creek,
and all is well.
— Susan Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words
Used by permission of the poet. First appeared at Every Day Poems.